What Is A Supply Side Platform (SSP)?

By Jennifer Shambroom, April 03, 2014

sellA few days ago, we talked about DSPs and how more advertisers are using them to purchase their online advertising. On the flip side, more and more publishers are using SSPs to help sell their ads.

SSP is most commonly known as a supply-side platform. But it’s also referred to as a sell-side platform or a yield-optimization platform. Whatever you call it, it still does the same thing, which is helping publishers get the best prices for their inventory and maintain a steady supply of targeted ads on their websites.

An SSP is really just the publisher equivalent to a DSP. Advertisers use DSPs to buy ads as efficiently and cheaply as they can, while publishers do the opposite and use SSPs to maximize the prices of their inventory they’re going to sell. A supply-side platform interfaces to an ad exchange on the publisher side, which then interfaces to a demand-side platform on the advertiser side.

With SSPs, publishers can do three big things: open up their inventory to a larger range of potential buyers through real-time bidding, say which advertisers can or can’t purchase their inventory and set the minimum prices for which their inventory can be sold to certain buyers. SSPs also matter because they help with the possible risks of the value on their inventory being driven down by those who use DSPs to purchase their ads, instead of paying human ad buyers to negotiate with salespeople.

In relation to human sales teams, SSPs work with them. If a sales team can’t sell certain inventory, then SSPs are used to try and sell it. Sometimes media owners use supply-side platforms to help serve and track the inventory sold by their human sales team.

Like DSPs are to advertisers, SSPs are of great benefit to publishers. Because of this technology, more publishers are better able to manage their ad impression inventory and maximize their revenue.

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